Ideology, Public Policy, and Short-term Rental Housing Regulation

Authors: Wesley Roehl*, Temple University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Economic Geography, Political Geography
Keywords: peer-to-peer commerce, elections, public policy, short-term lodging, ideology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Much of the research in tourism and hospitality on peer-to-peer lodging (Airbnb, Homeaway/VRBO, etc.) has focused on understanding users of peer-to-peer accommodations and their decision-making process. Less attention has been paid to the other stakeholders affected by the growth of the peer-to-peer lodging sector. This paper uses multiple methods to examine support and opposition to peer-to-peer lodging through the lens of electoral geography. First, five California elections (San Francisco—2015, Mammoth Lakes—2015, Nevada City—2016, Palm Springs—2018, and South Lake Tahoe—2018) where measures were placed before the public that would impose limits or otherwise restrict short-term rentals were examined. Precinct voter characteristics such as ethnicity, age, and party affiliation predicted support. Second, votes in the state legislatures of Arizona (2016), Idaho (2017), Indiana (2018), and Nebraska (2018) that sought to remove local communities’ ability to regulate the short-term rental market were examined. These votes ranged from unanimous to contentious with context, party affiliation and ideology sorting peer-to-peer lodging’s supporters from its opponents. Moving forward, research needs to take a more critical perspective on how innovations such as peer-to-peer rentals affect all stakeholders in the community.

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